I am generally interested in the ecology and evolution of invasive plants.
During my diploma thesis at the Geobotanical Institute of the ETH Zurich I investigated pathogen infection and herbivory on the invasive plant Solidago gigantea in the invasive range in Europe as compared to multiple native plant species.
In my current PhD thesis I study different aspects of the population ecology of the invasive plant species Centaurea stoebe.
In particular, I’m interested in differences in life history traits of different cytotypes, the impact of specialist root herbivores and how these factors interact and translate into population dynamics. A long-term demography experiment combined with additional side experiments in the field, greenhouse and lab are used to construct matrix population models that will improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the successful invasion of C. stoebe and their implications for biological control.
Furthermore, I investigate the role of adaptive phenotypic plasticity in the invasion success of C. stoebe. I’m particularly interested in how polyploidy affects levels of phenotypic plasticity and if increased phenotypic plasticity might evolve after introduction into a new range where altered conditions might favour more plastic genotypes. In a large common garden plasticity experiment in the native range, we simulate different climatic and soil conditions from the native and introduced ranges, to disentangle responses of several physiological and fitness traits towards specific environmental conditions.
For more information have a look at our research homepage.
|2007 – present||PhD student, University Fribourg, Switzerland|
|2006||Diploma in Biology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland|
Hahn, M. (2005). Pathogen infection and herbivory in the invasive plant species Solidago gigantea. Diploma thesis, ETH Zurich.
Hahn, M., Müller-Schärer, H., Eco-geographical variation in life history traits among native and invasive cytotypes of Centaurea stoebe. in prep.
more in prep.